Employee engagement is important because studies show that it improves productivity. However, many researchers fail to mention that unengaged employees are also a lot more likely to leave an organization prematurely. If employees are always at risk of leaving, companies experience an ongoing brain-drain, which isn’t good for business. Organizations that want to make sure they attract top talent and retain those people for the long term should find ways to guarantee employees are satisfied in their jobs. That involves compensating them well, hearing what employees have to say, providing them with constant feedback regarding their contribution and showing them how and why their contribution leads to the overall success of the company.
“If one department is unengaged, that attitude will probably migrate to other areas.”
Unengaged workers leave
PayScale pointed out Gallup data from June 2015 shows that most American workers are still not engaged in their jobs. With 31.5 percent of the workforce engaged, it is easy to deduce that the majority of employees are bored, checked out and disenchanted at their respective companies. Such a high level of unengaged workers in an organization makes productivity difficult, as the culture could very easily turn negative and pessimistic. Company culture is infectious as well – if one department is unengaged, that attitude will probably migrate to other areas.
An article in the Harvard Business Review explained that when companies are able to keep engagement levels high, they directly increase retention rates, boost employee morale and raise job satisfaction.
“Organizations with a high level of engagement report 22 percent higher productivity,” said HBR.
And none of this is news, it is just more evidence that highlights the importance of companies devoting time and energy toward activities that are known to improve employee engagement.
Why workers leave
The Center for Association Leadership mentioned research done by the Saratoga Institute, which is considered to be the world leader in third-party exit interviewing. The Institute has a database of 19,700 exit interviews and current employee surveys across 17 different industries. Analysis of the information found that employees do not become disengaged and leave their companies because of money. Alternatively, the root cause of the problem is far more complex. It seems the problem has more to do with communication and mentoring.
Based on Saratoga Institute information, 35 percent of American workers quit in the first six months of employment. More often than not, the reason is false or unrealistic expectations about what the job would be. The Institute also found that many employees reported not receiving enough coaching or feedback. This resulted in a situation where employees felt devalued and unrecognized. Not being acknowledged for doing good work and not receiving the appropriate guidance and resources makes employees want to leave, and in many instances, they do.
It is worth mentioning that many of the companies that do not communicate or encourage employees to advance in their careers also fail to develop their employees’ skills. The resulting mental stagnation only further exacerbates the problem. People require stimulation in their jobs, and when they don’t have it, they get bored and quit.
There’s a fix for the brain-drain
Fortunately, there are some things that companies can do to increase employee engagement and retain workers. Consistently, the most successful companies give their employees a sense of purpose, make them feel a part of the organization, and enable them to make a difference. One of the best ways to improve motivation is to consistently communicate with employees. Constant communication doesn’t require a ton of effort, but the rewards are ample.
Using enterprise video solutions, companies can create career paths that are well communicated and understood by employees. Managers can also use video to hold regular performance reviews and meetings where they update staff members on company news. Additionally, by holding video town hall meetings and regular information sessions, the gap between managers and their subordinates will begin to get smaller.
As Forbes pointed out, people today expect instant gratification. Thanks to films, the Internet and social media, people get access to the information they desire instantaneously. Employees will always be expected to put in hours of work every day, but the environment that they do that in can also be fun and engaging. If companies use video to make company culture more transparent, employees won’t always feel like worker drones operating in isolated, dark and dismal cubicles. Ultimately, finding, engaging and keeping workers is a matter of balancing work and play. To accomplish that, companies should use enterprise video solutions and turn disillusionment into engagement.